Better Days are Coming – 12-03-2023

Would you like to guarantee yourself a strong case of pre-holiday depression?  Just watch the evening news each night… there are reports of violence, oppression, protests, and angry outbursts…whew!  Just before Jesus was born, God’s people were suffering as well…but the prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “Better days are ahead” with the prediction of the Messiah’s birth.  Likewise, we anticipate better days when our Messiah returns “soon and very soon” (to quote the hymn lyrics). Join Pastor Jack this week as he delivers his message, “Better Days Are Coming,”…and look for the dawn of the new age when Christ returns to our world!


ANNUAL MEETING – Sun., Dec. 3 – after abbreviated worship at 9 a.m., the meeting agenda will include approving the 2024 spending plan and election of Council members. Please plan on attending, as a quorum is needed.

PSS THANKSGIVING BASKETS – Many thanks to all who contributed food, funds, or fuel to deliver food baskets. We served 20, a total of 97 people, with Thanksgiving dinner and many staples for later. Donation of hams will be needed for Faith Kitchen meals at Christmas time.

DO YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING FOR BOOKS AND HELP SOTH – Click here for instructions to purchase books from or refer to the bulletin insert. This is the company that has placed the bins in our parking lot. You can order gently used books directly from their website and designate SOTH as the beneficiary at checkout.

FISH N CHIPS – PLANNING MTG. – Tues., Dec. 12 – 5:30 PM. All are invited.

BLOOD DRIVE is planned for Thurs., Dec., 21, 2023 from 1-7 PM. To make an appointment call 1-800-933-2566 or visit

MESSIAH CONCERTSun., Dec. 17 – 4 PM NJ Conservatory. Contact Judith Stuss at 973-402-2004 for more information.

IMPORTANT MEETING – Mon, January 8, 2024 at 7:30 PM in Fellowship Hall to discuss (a) strategies for paying down the principal on our outstanding mortgage and (b) creative investment options of current funds in our savings account. The meeting is open to the entire congregation. Your input is valuable and encouraged!

BELL RINGERS – are needed by the Salvation Army for their red kettle drives at local Walmart stores. Please call Debra Butler at 973-413- 4684 to volunteer.

PLEDGE CARDS – A pledge card is requested of all giving families even if you adjusted your giving electronically during the 10% growth campaign earlier this year. Cards are on the narthex table. Please complete and return one to the church office as soon as possible.

UPCOMING SERMON SERIES: “The Second Coming of Christ” 11/12 – “Ready or Not? 11/19 – “Don’t Just Stand There” 11/26 – “Judgment Day” 12/3 – “Better Days Are Coming”

JOIN US WITH GENEROUS GIVING TO OUR MISSION: with these gifts, we continue to welcome folks to our community, to equip them with faith tools – learning the word, prayers for one another, and communal support – and then to send us into the world to welcome others. Your donations to SOTH can be accomplished in the following ways:

  • On Sunday, place your donation in the offering plate.
  • Mail your offering to: SOTH 246 Woodport Rd., Sparta, NJ 07871
  • Go online to setup your e-giving from your checking, savings, credit card or debit card
  • Download Vanco Mobile (Faith) on your smartphone, search for Shepherd of the Hills (Sparta)
  • Text Giving to 973-832-0226 You can make a one-time gift or setup recurring offerings.


Many thanks to all of the donors who support our mission!

STREAMING IS HERE!: We are excited to announce that you can now view our service live at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday. Click on this link to see the service and subscribe to our SOTH channel:  Don’t worry if you missed the live broadcast.  All services are archived on our channel.  You can also search for us on Facebook and like our page.  

WORSHIP INFO For December 03, 2023

Worship Service Bulletin

New Link for Zoom Bible Study, Wed. at noon

Meeting ID: 829 4727 4304 Passcode: 002314

President: JD Allen
Vice President: Emery Malasits
Treasurer: Brett Maynard
Recording Secretary: Celeste Bethmann
Financial Secretary: Steve Lewandowski
Property: Patrick Wood
Worship & Music: Pat Kovacs
Community Relief: Diane Fitzpatrick
Giving: Arden Krych
Membership: Janine Shugan
Activities:  Judi Wolff

CLOTHING DONATION BIN –  Place clothing and shoes in plastic bags.  Proceeds will benefit SOTH.  Please do not leave items outside of the box. Please tell your friends and family so that we can fill those bins!

GOT BOOKS? – the New Legacy Books book donation/recycling bin is now in our parking lot adjacent to the clothing bins. This is a “green” fundraising activity.  New Legacy will accept books in good, readable condition that have an ISBN barcode label on the book cover.  Hardcover, paperback and textbooks are all welcome For further information, please check their website  see their brochure on the bulletin board or ask Wendy in the office.

Continues in person at Holy Trinity Church or via Zoom, the first and third Wednesdays from noon-12:45. Join Pastor Jack for a lively discussion of the Bible. No prior experience necessary! Click here to join us via Zoom.